Safety Expo Saturday at the high school

Gather the family and come out to the Pagosa Springs High School Saturday for a day of exploration, education and interaction as Archuleta County hosts the first Safety Expo .

Our community is one in which residents feel comfortable, at ease and secure in their surroundings, whether at home or in the wilderness.

However, accidents do happen, kids will be kids, and parents need to educate their children about living safely in a rural community.

One of the stations that will be set up at the Safety Expo will be the fingerprinting and identification booth hosted by the Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department. Parents bring their children to be fingerprinted — a horror for most adults, a fun and cool task for most children. Experts will also swab a child’s mouth to produce a DNA sample, which the parents can keep with a card containing pertinent information and on which there will be a place to change out photos of a child as they grow (school pictures work really well). The thought of going through this identification process seems a bit scary, but the benefits hugely outweigh any concerns a parent might have. Experts will be at the booth to answer questions and make it a fun process for the children.

Kids will also particularly enjoy the Kiwanis Junglemobile, which teaches safety issues in a fun way; “Talon” from Navajo and Colorado State Parks; and the “Signs and Wonders” camp targeted for Native American children from the Four Corners area.

Parents can obtain information about wildfire hazard mitigation on private property from the Colorado State Forest Service and Firewise Council of Southwest Colorado. Emergency services personnel from the USJHD and Pagosa Mountain Hospital will be at the Expo, and everyone should enjoy the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team as they demonstrate their backcountry rescue methods and technical rope rescue techniques.

La Plata Electric and the fire department will have trucks, cranes and equipment at the site. LifeCare will also be on hand with their medical evacuation helicopter and lifesaving equipment. Food vendors will be available throughout the event.

The Expo will feature a variety of dynamic and static displays that will increase your awareness of personal emergency preparedness safety practices. Local, state, regional and federal agencies are working cooperatively to provide a quality educational environment for participants of all ages.

The Archuleta County Safety Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the high school. If you have questions, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.